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Reply with quote  #51 

There is a difference. It was not murder. I can not believe someone would write that. He would never ever set out to hurt anyone. This I know. I feel bad for everyone and no one is going to be at ease with anything that comes out of this accident. Remember it was an accident not murder.

Reply with quote  #52 

It was murder !!  Ryan made the  choice to get drunk. The boy didn't make the choice to die !!! Don't justify it.    

Reply with quote  #53 

This was and continues to be a horrible accident where bad decisions and bad luck will continue to haunt the lives of many. Murder is:


Law . the killing of another human being under conditions specifically covered in law. In the U.S., special statutory definitions include murder committed with malice aforethought, characterized by deliberation or premeditation or occurring during the commission of another serious crime, as robbery or arson (first-degree murder), and murder by intent but without deliberation or premeditation (second-degree murder).


There was definitely no malice aforethought, premeditation or intent without deliberation or premeditation. Just a bunch of drunk young men having too much fun and it caught up with them, that's it period. By definition a horrible tragedy.


My condolences go out to Kevin's family and the Fitt's. I did not know Kevin but Ryan and the rest of his family have always been good friends and I hope to continue to be. Ryan does not belong behind bars. If there is anything I can do to help with minimizing his sentence let me know.


Lyle Perkins

right on
Reply with quote  #54 

I totally agree with Lyle and I am sure thousands do to. All these boys were out drinking. Someone said the alcohol level of the other three were off the chart also. Just Ryan was driving. It seems like some want u to think the other ones were not responsible also. I think all 4 were responsible. I do know that the Fitts would have pleaded with the state and the judge not to destroy someone's elses life if Ryan had died and one of the other 3 were driving. This is the kind of people Ryan has for parents and family. They never have blamed others for someone elses actions. He definitely does not belong in jail. Hey victim---- He did not murder Kevin. You are off so bad and you need to learn the meaning of murder. Thanks Lyle for letting this person know the meaning. But this person seems to be a bitter person and needs to shut up.

Reply with quote  #55 

I know the Fitts family would never have done to anyone what is being done to Ryan.

Reply with quote  #56 

That is because they are decent people. Christians and forgiving. LOVE THIS FAMILY.

kevin's friend
Reply with quote  #57 

Kevin really liked Ryan and I know he would not want Ryan to go to jail. He wanted to hang out with him and ski with him. I think he would be unhappy about how all this has gone. I think Kevin's family should think about how Kevin would feel about what they have done and what they could do. Sad thing is I know the family and I am sure Kevin is sad about their actions toward Ryan.

Reply with quote  #58 
Does Kevin's family have anything to do with the fact that Ryan is being prosecuted and might end up in jail for a relatively long period of time ? I don't know much about US law but in this case doesn't it fall under the DA and the State's prerogative to prosecute even if the victim's family doesn't want to ? 
Reply with quote  #59 

oh yes, the family has alot to do with it. Yes, the state will do their part, but the family could have talked to the DA and state to not throw the book at him. The family wants 30 years and nothing less. No plea,no nothing. Just put him away. This is just not right, don't think the other family (fitts) would have been so harsh if the shoe was on the other foot. But to each it's own. Alot of difference between these two families. I feel for both, but i would like to see Ryan not go to jail, but community service to pay for his mistake. Hell it could have been one of the others driving instead of Ryan. They were all 4 drinking

Reply with quote  #60 
Hey!!! Drinking and driving Kills people. It is not ok! never is and never will be. Period. Sorry our frind is going to Jail but that is what will happen to any of us if choose these actions. You go to jail period end of story the law it the law . what part of this do you folks not understand?

: (
Reply with quote  #61 

This is all so, so sad.  Heart wrenching....for all of those invovled.

Reply with quote  #62 

We don't understand how jailing Ryan for 30 years serves the good of society. There are more productive ways for him to repay society in that time. No one is saying he should walk without consequences. If making an example of offenders worked by jailing them and throwing away the key, drinking and driving wouldn't be a problem today.

Please just stop
Reply with quote  #63 

I have followed this message board since this tradgedy happened.  I've seen folks take up for Ryan; I've seen folks take up for Kevin.  But I've seen very little truth about the actual facts.  And unless you have a personal hotline to the DA's office, or a copy of the toxicology report on ALL of these young men, or know the Shimek family on a personal level and have witnessed the living hell they have been through since July 12, 2009, nobody has the right to gossip about any of it, much less to assume what you or Fitts' family or any of the other boys' families would or would not do if the shoe were on the other foot.  There's so much more to this than any of you people have a clue about.  Things have been said on this thread that are awful; just downright hurtful.  The Shimeks have NEVER said that Ryan was set out to "murder" Kevin.  They've never said there was intent behind this tragedy.  So until you have walked in their shoes, lost a son/daughter under these same exact circumstances... how dare you sit in judgment.  This is a no win situation for either family. 

Reply with quote  #64 
Well you may have a point and I do agree with some of it... However until you go and lobby to change the rules of the land this is and will be the sentence for this kind of behavior.

I have served time and know that what I did was wrong. But that don't change anything. and trust me. the debt is never paid when people are hurt and or killed. no matter how much time is served.

I like Ryan just as much as the next guy. I am sorry that the actions taken resulted in such tragedy. But there is a bigger tragedy brewing here and that is that this behavior should not be punished. I encourage you all to pursue a better punishment for that will be a major contribution to society.  If you drink and drive stop NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! stop it damm it STOP!

one must be ready to accept the consequences of the cards played...... Ryan knew the consequences and ignored them and someone got killed.
All for lookig up to and wanting to party with Ryan. Control the situation is that name of the game. prevent unsafe escalation of lethal behavior.  I love it out there on the lunatic fringe... I could not be more happy. But I have been lucky enough to have the chance to elaborate after being stupid and in time so will Ryan. I bet he will have allot to say in time.

No brainer
Reply with quote  #65 
As far as the sentencing is going no one is trying to hammer Ryan , the law is very specific about it he will serve a minimum of 3 years without parole , period , there is no favor to call in or no one to blame for enforcing an unfair judgement to Ryan.
Until the law is changed Ryan is facing just what he deserves.
Reply with quote  #66 
was his alcohol level -- more than the 0.15 -- thereby 5 years will be his mandatory minimum.
RS 14:98
Reply with quote  #67 
it also wasn't his first DUI ...
Reply with quote  #68 

Oh yes the Shimak's did tell the DA and other people they wanted 30 years and for Ryan to pay dearly. Someone in their family has been real vocal about this.

so what ?
Reply with quote  #69 
why do you all want Ryan off the hook so bad ? it wasn't his first offense of the kind (less severe of course) , he was given then the opportunity to react and change his ways , he didn't ... he ignored the warnings and we all know what happened.

Jail is the easy way out , for those of you who are so religious the hebrew bible states "an eye for an eye" ... what would be a adequate ?
Reply with quote  #70 

You always have these people that can quote from the bible and take out of context. need to read the before and after that quote. Anyone can take a quote and fit it to their own ideas. Dont knock Christians. We forgive and help others. Not destroy

Reply with quote  #71 

I don't think anyone wants Ryan "off the hook so bad". Some of us believe there is a better way for Ryan to repay society than jailing him for 30 years on the taxpayers dime (which could turn out to be 5 years with parole) I personally don't believe that sentencing him 30 years (even if no parole) will deter even one other drunk driver. How about sentencing him to 3 - 5 years of touring high schools across this country telling his tragic story and encouraging the next generation of drunk drivers to take a different path. The existing penal system clearly DOES NOT WORK!

Reply with quote  #72 

I think you mean the anal system

Reply with quote  #73 
Maybe Ryan should have walked around telling his story after his 1st DWI.  He must have caught a break on his first offense and it did nothing to improve his life or the decision he made regarding operating a vehicle under the influence.  While I certainly live in a glass house as well and have probably had a drink or two and driven a vehicle. We are adults and must accept the consequences that come with making those decisions. In Ryan's case his decision resulted in the death of his friend  which under Louisiana State Law is defined as vehicular homicide.

§32.1. Vehicular homicide

A. Vehicular homicide is the killing of a human being caused proximately or caused directly by an offender engaged in the operation of, or in actual physical control of, any motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or other means of conveyance, whether or not the offender had the intent to cause death or great bodily harm, whenever any of the following conditions exists and such condition was a contributing factor to the killing:

(1) The operator is under the influence of alcoholic beverages as determined by chemical tests administered under the provisions of R.S. 32:662.

(2) The operator's blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 percent or more by weight based upon grams of alcohol per one hundred cubic centimeters of blood.

(3) The operator is under the influence of any controlled dangerous substance listed in Schedule I, II, III, IV, or V as set forth in R.S. 40:964.

(4) The operator is under the influence of alcoholic beverages.

(5)(a) The operator is under the influence of a combination of alcohol and one or more drugs which are not controlled dangerous substances and which are legally obtainable with or without a prescription.

(b) It shall be an affirmative defense to any charge under this Paragraph pursuant to this Section that the label on the container of the prescription drug or the manufacturer's package of the drug does not contain a warning against combining the medication with alcohol.

(6) The operator is under the influence of one or more drugs which are not controlled dangerous substances and which are legally obtainable with or without a prescription and the influence is caused by the operator knowingly consuming quantities of the drug or drugs which substantially exceed the dosage prescribed by the physician or the dosage recommended by the manufacturer of the drug.

B. Whoever commits the crime of vehicular homicide shall be fined not less than two thousand dollars nor more than fifteen thousand dollars and shall be imprisoned with or without hard labor for not less than five years nor more than thirty years. At least three years of the sentence of imprisonment shall be imposed without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence. If the operator's blood alcohol concentration is 0.15 percent or more by weight based upon grams of alcohol per one hundred cubic centimeters of blood, then at least five years of the sentence of imprisonment shall be imposed without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence. If the offender was previously convicted of a violation of R.S. 14:98, then at least five years of the sentence of imprisonment shall be imposed without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence. The court shall require the offender to participate in a court-approved substance abuse program and may require the offender to participate in a court-approved driver improvement program. All driver improvement courses required under this Section shall include instruction on railroad grade crossing safety.


Reply with quote  #74 

I have no doubt that Fitts should be locked up, but 5-30 years seems a bit harsh.  It would be different if he went out and T-Boned another innocent driver and killed him.  Kevin was killed and the law appears to clearly define what should happen, however this isn't murder.  Kevin wasn't entirely innocent in this.  He made just as poor of decision as Ryan. Kevin should never had gotten in the vehicle, just as Ryan should never have gotten in the vehicle.  I think he should go away for the impaired for sure, but Kevin chose his own fate.

Have some respect
Reply with quote  #75 
Have you all forgotten? I havent. Everyday. My friend is dead and he is never coming back, you will never know the hurt of my stomach I felt the morning I heard Kevin was gone. Quit trashing his name, his family, his memory. Do you ever wonder if it was scary for Kevin? If it hurt? Anything? We do, his family does...Every holiday without him hurts...every birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving...Did you know he played guitar? Probably not. We do not get to have those holidays with him anymore...but Ryan will get to have those holidays with his family...he is not going to die. He is going to pay the time for the crime he committed which is not nearly as bad as the hurt and pain everyone else is feeling for the loss of Kevin. REMEMBER THAT! They do not sit there and plot revenge for Ryan, this is a simple thing. He broke the law. 

Kevin's death will not be in vain, I promise you that. I will always remember him...and I will not let you PEOPLE sit here and say that someone who BROKE THE LAW should get off easy...someone DIED...DO YOU HEAR YOURSELVES...Kevin was a PERSON, A SON, A FRIEND, A BROTHER, A COUSIN, A NEPHEW, A GRANDSON, A STUDENT, A SKIER...So many things. I miss him more than anyone will ever know. 

Now please stop this. You are hurting people. 

ski friend
Reply with quote  #76 

He was my friend also. He would never want Ryan go to jail. He was as daring as anyone else and loved it. I loved it about him. Really liked Ryan, so respect Kevin's memory to how he felt about Ryan.

Reply with quote  #77 
I could like  my mom all I want but if she went out and robbed a bank, I would not support her decisions to do that! I highly doubt Kevin would be proud of what is going on right now and that it has taken 3 years for Ryan to apologize to Kevin's family....if you can call it that. Kevin was about to get his degree in Criminal Justice. Therefore, you can only assume Kevin believe in abiding by the law and he would only want some form of justice. My only words right now is that you cannot simply know what Kevin would want because he is not here...and you could not know what YOU would do in the situation until you are in that situation. I am sure Kevin liked Ryan because he was hanging out with Ryan that night, never once said Kevin didnt like him. But Ryans actions of saying he probably was good to drive that night or what not and then driving 96mph once in the car resulted in the death of Kevin and injuring the other 2 in the almost killing Ryan himself. Should everyone just be free to do this? I doubt Ryan talking to high schoolers is going to help, and he should have been doing this over the past 3 years, NOT court mandated if he wanted to make a difference....or why hadnt he contacted the family sooner to apologize? We have all been grieving so much. Im sure Ryan feels like crap, but he still will have plenty of life to live. This is the consequences you must pay. And how dare you say Kevin chose his own fate. This just makes me sick. 

I am done arguing about this. Everyone should stop commenting on this out of respect for the family. 
Reply with quote  #78 

Alot you know about why he did not contact Kevins'family for the past 2 1/2 years. It is called " so ordered not to contact or talk to anyone". That meant the Shumicks or anyone in the accident. It was ordered for him to do. So much you know about the situation. You make it sound like he was blowing them off and disrespecting them. you are so wrong.

Reply with quote  #79 
I am a close relative of one of the boys who was in the truck and feel that "Finally" summed up everything.  It is very important that facts also be presented.  It is upsetting to read comments like "The others blood alcohol level was off the chart also."  This is not a true statement.  I know the level of my relative, and it was not high at all.  All the families have suffered in one way or another, friends have suffered, and the survivors will live with this for the rest of their lives.  We need to stop the cruel statements and pray for healing.  As was stated in a prior post, Ryan did plead guilty and will serve some time.  In addition to this, he will live with physical issues for the rest of his life.  No matter how we look at this, it is a tragedy.  We should all be sensitive to all involved because everyone is suffering in his own way.  I still cry almost every day.  Let's not be so harsh on Kevin's family.  Unless we have been in their shoes, we can't come close to understanding their pain and loss.  Likewise, we can't understand the pain of all families involved unless we have similar experiences.   So, please end the cruel and inaccurate statements, have compassion, and pray for healing.
Reply with quote  #80 

Finally a sensible post. hear hear

TX Skier
Reply with quote  #81 
Amen to Relative. The cruel words about Ryan, Kevin, and both of their families that have been spoken on this message board are absolutely unbelievable. This should not even be a discussion open for debate. A young man lost his life and the people he left behind are still struggling with the loss, Ryan included. The constant bickering and trash talking on this site are doing nothing but continue to torment the people involved in the tragedy years later.

Let's get back to skiing, people.
Reply with quote  #82 

As a surgeon who has treated many patients in alcohol related crashes in a trauma center, it is always frustrating how people, especially young people never seem to get the message.  This type of crash situation goes on almost daily in the trauma centers accross this country.  I can only hope that this tragedy will wake up those who try to drink and drive.  Unfortunately, no one seems to take the hint.  I personally feel that DWI offenses should be a more severe punishment.  For example, if someone gets caught drinking and driving, taking their license doesn't stop the same behavior.  However, taking their vehicle will get their attention.  I have heard that some European countries do this, but do not know for sure.  If you have your car impounded or sold, that will get your attention.

Reply with quote  #83 
Doc, you hit the nail on the head.  The hand-slapping we do here in the U.S. is a joke.  If you get one dwi, you should lose the PRIVILEGE of driving for 10 years.  Two violations, you never drive again.
I don't agree with a lot of things that the Europeans do, but I think they're way ahead of us on how they deal with drunk driving.
If the penalty was much tougher, there would definitely be less of it.  As of now, it's a simple inconvenience of limited driving and $8-15K for legal costs and fees.  Big deal.

Reply with quote  #84 
Anonymous, EVERYTHING we do is superior to America with the exception of immigration policy. you beat us there
Reply with quote  #85 
When you are 1/2 blitzed it's impossible to make rational decisions & including but not limited to driving. It's also difficult for friends to prevent someone who is 1/2 blitzed from driving.  The entire "alcoholic beverage dispensing system" is doomed for failure. Big failure. I feel for Emerg.
10 years?
Reply with quote  #86 

As soon as you take a license away for 10 years they'll just start driving without one. Jail time would be better

Reply with quote  #87 
three hots (meals), and a cot (bed)...... you will be paying for it anyways so yeah lock them all up.. when has jail soved any of our problems? they like it there, free livin
to European
Reply with quote  #88 

and yet, here you are....

Reply with quote  #89 

The only thing you do better than Amercians is sound like a f____in idiot with whatever comes out of your mouth!!  Your good buddy Bravik surely will not go down with the death penalty-in the states the cops would have nuked that douche long before handcuffs ever touched his skin.

Anders Breivik
Reply with quote  #90 

deserves to live a long and health life in the care of the Norwegian Government 

system. It was the system that allowed him to get the guns that cause such a rage 

and tougher gun laws are what they need. Blame should fall on the State’s and the 

crumbling EU economy as well. 

Reply with quote  #91 

You're an idiot

i have
Reply with quote  #92 
been called worse. and u are?
Reply with quote  #93 


The Verdict
Reply with quote  #94
Listen please
Reply with quote  #95 

I'm sorry for all involved - truth is the truth - if you had two DWI's you should have NEVER been the designated driver.  Lack of respect for all the people killed in DWI'S and your friends that are riding with you as well.  I am sure Fitts is a nice, fun loving guy, BUT with two DWI'S under your belt you are still going to go almost 100 mph on a two lane road and throw caution to the wind???  Seriously, there is a responsibility on his part that he has to face and pay for.  Actions = consequences.  You pay for your consequences.  Today he did...  Please do not disrespect the family of Kevin or the other two guys in the truck - they were not driving nor deciding how fast to go on that road - Fitts did.  End of story.

Reply with quote  #96
wait and see
Reply with quote  #97 

Ryan lost the fight and will be a better man. He will win the BATTLE and that is what  really matters.

Reply with quote  #98 

Sad story the moral of which is don't get in a vehicle with a drunk at the wheel.

the way it works
Reply with quote  #99 
sentenced to 16 years , only 8 years max real time in prison but will be releasable in 4 and 1/2 years ...

"State District Judge Lou Daniel actually sentenced Fitts to 16 years in prison, but he suspended eight of those years. The judge ordered that four and a half years of the term be served without benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence."
Reply with quote  #100 
Sucks for EVERYBODY.
And if somebody you know has a problem with some kind of addiction try to help tem. 
I'm not suggesting that anybody involved in this particular incident had any kind of problem ...just that we all need to get each other's back. These problems are serious and not to be laughed at.

I'm older now but used to do all of this kind of stuff and realize now how STUPID I was behaving at the time. Thank God I made it I look back and start to count up the numbers of people that I know that are gone or injured or affected by this kind of behavior and it is S A D.

I'll get off the soapbox now and somebody else can have it......
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